I couldn’t sleep last night. Thoughts of you filled my mind - my heart. I went upstairs to check on you.
I watched you sleep.
Kissed your forehead.
Softly stroked your wisps of blond hair.
Listened to you breathe.
Memories came flooding back to me of that very night, exactly 7 years before. November 9th. It was a sleepless night then too. Were you ever only 6 lbs? Were you ever really that bald? Was there ever a time you were not a part of our lives?
You fill our days with such joy and adventure, I can hardly remember what life was like – without you.
We had excitedly awaited your arrival. When we got the call, we couldn’t get there fast enough. I remember praying the whole way to the hospital, “Please Lord, let us be there when he takes his first breath, please let us share that moment with him.”
You came early. I thought we were ready, but the call came unexpectedly. From the beginning of your days, you have kept us on our toes. We raced, we made it there, and then, we waited…
for what seemed like an eternity.
We waited for God’s perfect timing. We waited for just the right moment that God would choose to bring a little tender hearted warrior into this world. Such great purpose in you. Such perfect timing in you.
I was there -
To hold a hand.
To support an incredibly brave and determined woman who chose to give you LIFE.
Selfless, courageous, compassionate – you came into the world carrying those same attributes, they are forever etched in your character. Words could never fully describe the complete overwhelming gratitude I feel in my heart for her.
For her choice of life.
For her love for you.
There simply are no words that seem to express my heart enough.
I took in every moment of that miraculous event. Recorded it forever in my mind. You breathed your first breath…so tiny…so precious…so amazing. I held you. I cried. I thanked God. I watched my dear husband gazing at you so lovingly. I watched your big brother looking at you curiously.
You were here. You were alive. You were real - no longer a dream I silently carried. My heart was finally at peace - again.
I had dreamed of you for years before we’d met. I’d prayed for you. I’d longed to hold you. I had wished I could carry you myself.
But God in His amazing ways had a different plan.
He spoke to my heart one day. “His name is Noah,” His voice whispered deep into my soul. That wasn’t what I was originally planning, but there is God again, moving me outside the box of my own thinking. I found the baby name dictionary and hurriedly looked it up. Noah means “peace, peaceful, restful, one who brings comfort or peace.” God spoke to my heart again. “He will be one who will bring great peace to many people; he will be a peaceful warrior.” I closed the book and said your name, over and over again. “Noah.” It was settled.
Though there is great joy in adoption, there is heartache as well. We walked through the pain…through the uncertain moments…desperately wanting to guard my heart but knowing full well you had held my very heart in your tiny hands from before you were even born. Whoever believes that you must give birth to a child in order to fully love a child has most assuredly never adopted.
That amazing love that comes - like it was always already there somehow.
The love that surprises even you with its depth, with its power, with its realness.
The love that is born in the heart.
I walked through this labor of the heart which is like a secret treasure to my soul, even today. It took me beyond the insignificant worries of life to a deeper need and reliance on my God. He was no longer “God.” He became “my God.” I was desperate for Him. I had to see His greater picture through my pain. I had to know He had a plan.
My sweet child, I loved you from before I met you. I loved you through every uncertain moment of what the future held. I have loved you through every precious day of your life.
I loved you then.
I love you now.
I will love you through eternity.
It reminds me of a greater love, one that I can still not fully comprehend, even through all of these years I’ve walked with Him. God’s. He knew us before we were born. He adopted us as His own. He brought us into His family. He paid a price of great heartache for us. He loves us through every moment of life, and beyond.
I just went back upstairs to check on you again. Still sleeping…peacefully. Sleep in heavenly peace my dear one. He carries you. You are loved. Completely. By so many. By God Himself who had a plan to bring you into the world at just the right time, for “such a time as this.” He needs a tender warrior in your generation. He needs a wild at heart boy, desperate to stand for truth, courageous for the battle ahead. He needs a servant who is sensitive to His Spirit as we’ve seen in you at even such a young age. He needs a man of peace to bring His truth to a hurting world. He knows the plans He has for you and they, my sweet baby boy, are “GOOD!” I have tears now through my reflection, but soon the day will give way to laughter, presents, and celebration of your life.
Happy Birthday my sweet child…
born in my heart…
I love you…forever.
Debbie McDaniel is a pastor's wife, mom to three amazing kids and a few too many pets, dramatist and writer. She has a heart to communicate God's hope though the everyday moments of life - the good, the bad, the ugly, and the ones that take your breath away. A lover of every sunrise, forever needy of His grace, this Texas girl finds joy in the simple gift of each new day. Debbie invites you to join her at www.freshdayahead.com, and Facebook and Twitter.